This book is designed to serve as a primary text for an undergraduate college course in positive psychology. Consistent with the “nuts and bolts” presentation of positive psychology, in many places throughout the book the authors provide detailed coverage of individual research studies, methodological issues and theoretical controversies.
The first goal in writing this book was to make positive psychology accessible to undergraduate students by reviewing and summarizing the major empirical findings and theories within the major areas of positive psychology. Specifically, the authors hope to bridge the gap between an undergraduate audience and the professional level of source material. A second goal was to present the core topics of positive psychology in a way that preserves the richness and excitement of findings in this new area of psychology. Positive psychology addresses important questions about how we lead our lives, find happiness and satisfaction in life, and deal with life’s challenges. As a result, the subject matter of positive psychology has high intrinsic interest. The authors hope to engage and maintain this interest by making frequent connections and applications to the everyday lives of readers.
A third goal was to present positive psychology without compromising the complexities of research and theory That is, the goal was to present positive psychology as it is -- a work in progress. Put another way, this book is a “nuts and bolts” view of positive psychology with a primary emphasis on the results of empirical studies and the theories that help explain them.